Screening Room Home Video Edition: “Marvel’s The Avengers,” “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.”

KANSAS CITY, MO –
THE AVENGERS -PG-13 (Walt Disney Pictures)

SHAWN
“Marvel’s the Avengers” is arguably the most popular comic book movie ever. Check the Box Office numbers — 1.5 billion dollars world wide. That’s Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg money yo’. But is it one of the best comic book movies ever artisitically? Nope! It’s not even in my top 5.

RUSS
Luckily, in this case, too many chefs don’t spoil the broth as your favorite Marvel comic heroes unite to save the Earth. Robert Downey, Jr.’s charismatic presence as Iron Man is a big help and the special effects and production values are top-notch. But it’s the smart, witty dialogue and snappy direction that makes “The Avengers” super.

SHAWN
I dug Downey. He’s definitely the movie’s MVP. But super is a stretch. It is cool to see all of these characters together in one movie. Fun. But the slow start, over re-development of all of the central figures, weak super non-threatening villain and cartoonish finish are just too many flaws to justify calling “The Avengers” great.

RUSS:
Fan boys will be in heaven…and everyone else will probably have a good time, too.

SHAWN
It’s entertaining. I give you that. But it lacks grit, a coherent storyline and compelling scenarois of doom. I was never on the edge of my seat. Not once. The extras are pretty cool and loaded especially if you cop the Blu-ray which includes an App. Music video and a bunch of interactive stuff.

RUSS: 4 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 3 Popcorn Bags

THE BEST EXOTIC MARIGOLD HOTEL -PG-13 (20th Century Fox)

RUSS
A rock-solid cast of veteran British thespians makes the comic drama “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” seem a whole lot better than it is. Dame Judy Dench, Dame Maggie Smith, Tom Wilkinson and Bill Nighy are among a group of aging Brits who, due to financial straights, decide to try retirement in India. They encounter challenges they never anticipated.

SHAWN
This movie was unexpectantly moving, charming and heartfelt. This is one of my favorite films this year. Delightful characters and easy going story with a bit to say make this a universally pleasing movie.

RUSS
The script is predictable and the direction lackluster. But for the AARP crowd that feels like they’re just not making movies for them anymore, “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” may be just what the doctor ordered.

SHAWN
I disagree. This movie is for everyone. Sure the plot and characters play to the O.G’s. but this is an experience that will connect with all audiences. This movie made me feel happy and had me whistling like Flo-Rida. The extras are pretty pedestrian but love the trekking to India featurette on the Blu-ray. Lovely. Packing my bags already. Totally inspired to take a trip there.

RUSS: 3 Popcorn Bags
SHAWN: 4 Popcorn Bags

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